Thursday, August 30, 2018

ETSY

So many people when I mention ETSY look at me funny and the first question they ask is “What is ETSY?” Well, ETSY is a site where crafters are able to list and sell their craft items to a wide audience. It is something that can be a bit of a challenge sometimes but if you understand and do a bit of homework before even setting up your shop you could have success on this platform. I have an ETSY shop and it has been just under a year now that we have had it and with some work it has started to get sales.

Things that I have learned from having an ETSY shop:
  1. Do not list all your items are once because that doesn’t help you be seen when you are first starting out. Sure, you want to have lots of items in your shop when you start but remember that each day you list an item is another day that you can be seen listed with a new item. Also when you list all your items are once all the renewals will happen at the same time as well. The renewals happen at the same time if you don’t have sales so remember that. A renewal moves each time it is sold so that does help.
  2. When you are listing items and if you have more than one of the specific item add the quantity to the listing so that you don’t have to remember to relist the item after each sale. This will help in the management of the site.
  3. Understand that there are fees when you list an item (not very much at all currently only $.20 per item) If you add the quantity it doesn’t impact the fee for the listing as it will only be charged after one item is sold and the new listing is automatically done for you. There are also transaction fees on the sale of an item so remember that as well. ETSY takes a % of the sales price so also consider that when you are pricing your items.
  4. Shipping to other countries. Here is one thing that you have to think about before you even start to think about shipping costs. When you get up your shop will you be shipping your items to other countries and what could the cost be. For me, I decided to ship to Canada and the United States only and that was a decision that I made even before thinking about shipping costs or any of that.
  5. Shipping costs, now this is something that you can handle two different ways. You can include the shipping cost in the price of the item or you can charge shipping costs separately. I add shipping costs separately to the items and have one price for the first item and then a reduced price when you add items to your order.
  6. Consider if you are willing to do custom orders. Custom orders can vary and it is something that you have to think about. Custom orders can be maybe a different size compared to what you make or even a different colour. For me, I have added custom order to some of the items where I have fabric remaining after I have made the first lot of items.
  7. Shipping items out. The other thing you need to figure out is how you are going to handle the shipping the items out once an item is sold. A lot of people have either 3-5 business days or 1-3 business days depending on how often they want to go to the post office to mail the items. Remember you are going to need to package up each of the items when they are sold and get them ready to be shipped. The packaging does cost so remember to add that into your pricing of either shipping or the cost of the item.
  8. Have fun. For a lot of people, ETSY is a little side business that can be a lot of fun and something that you do when time allows. ETSY can also be a full-time business and it is another decision that you need to think about and figure out. The items that you are selling in your shop can you continue to make them or versions of them or are then one off and once they are gone they are gone. Look at the amount of time you are willing to put into your shop because that will also impact how it goes.

ETSY can be a lot of fun if you handle it correctly. Knowing the answers to a lot of the questions before you start setting up your shop will help a lot. I know that I did some research and asked questions before reopening my ETSY shop and I am now glad I reopened it. The first ETSY shop I had didn’t work and I learned some lessons from it and it helped the newly reopened shop.

Remember there are quite a few people that have ETSY shops that are doing it for the fun of it and if you have questions don’t be afraid to ask someone your questions. I know that I am always willing to assist someone who would like to open an ETSY shop because I have learned from having one and if I can help someone else that would be great as well. My ETSY shop is DLKsCrafts and I am enjoying it and will continue to have the shop as long as I have fun with it.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Audio-books, Podcasts and YouTube

Now these are all different ways of listening and watching things and sure they have been around for years some of them but until the last year I really wasn’t into any of them but now I have figured out what works best for me and have started to love all of them in different ways. Each of them meets a different need for me and that is what I am going to try and explain here.

Audio-books

Now until he beginning of this year I had heard people talk about audio-books but I had never really given them a try. I think before this I may have listened to one book but other than that I didn’t think it would be something that I would enjoy. Yes, I like reading books but as I am also a crafter and use my hands for the various crafts I have let the reading of books sort of drop off because my evenings are normally spent crafting. I did read a lot during commutes to and from work but now that I am a co-owner of a business and most of the work is done remotely there isn’t a lot of commutes.

Earlier this year I decided to try audio-books as a means of getting through some of the books that I wanted to read. I went to the library to renew my library card and while there looked at some of the cd audio-books and immediately saw titles that were of interest to me. Seeing that there are a lot of titles that sounded interesting made me want to really give this idea a try and that is when it started. After renewing my library card I came home and decided to see what audio-books were available through the library but online and it opened up something that I have to admit that i have really enjoyed.

For me audio-books are something that I can listen to while crafting or even just when I am getting ready for bed. It has helped me get through some of the books that I have wanted to read and now I have a wish list on the library website as well as another list on a piece of paper of the books that I want to listen to. Sure, I may encounter some wait lists for some of the books but that doesn’t bother me as I have a lot of other things to listen to now.

Pod-casts

Pod-casts aren’t as new to me as audio-books but they were normally something that my husband and I listened to on a long drive as a means of making the trip feel a little shorter. We started with one series of pod-casts and we are still working through that series as they are now recording their 13th season and there are now around 52 episodes a year for them. Most of this series recording are only around 15 – 20 minutes so that isn’t bad but other pod-casts can be a lot longer than that.

This year I decided to find out about some of the other people that I had heard that did pod-casts and now I have a rather long list of pod-casts that I want to listen to as well. My first really good exposure to pod-casts was earlier this year when I needed to do a commute that was going to take me almost 2 hours to complete. I downloaded some of the pod-casts that I wanted to listen to onto my phone and off I went. The actual commute sure didn’t feel as long as it really was and I was able to get through a few of the pod-casts that I had downloaded.

I now have 5 different pod-casts that I follow so that means that I have lots of listening to do but again these are things that I can listen to while crafting or before going to bed in the evenings. I am enjoying the experience and am happy that I now can download them onto my phone and have them with me all the time.

YouTube

YouTube can be a major distraction if you let it but then if you are able to just watch what you subscribe to it doesn’t feel so bad. I have tried to develop a discipline where I go into YouTube and check my subscriptions. Sure it can still mean that I have a lot of videos to watch but I can mange those my putting them into my watch later library and I watch the various videos when I have the time. Sure the watch later library can get rather large sometimes but again these are videos that I can normally watch when I am crafting.

I have been watching YouTube videos for the last year and basically the ones that I have been watching are a group of videos with the title FlossTube. These are videos done by cross-stitchers and individuals that may even have a store but they are ones that I enjoy watching and I have tried to keep my subscription list short so that I don’t feel overwhelmed when all the different people post all at one. The individuals post at different times so I have some that post most days, some weekly, some monthly and then there are some that don’t post very often but at least by subscribing to them I can see when they post a new video.


The different medias have given me a different experience and I am loving all three of them. Audio-books are great when you know you are going to have the time to listen to something that could take between 10 and 25 hours in three weeks as that is how long some books are. Pod-casts can vary in length between 15 minutes and 1.5 hours but at least these are things that I can manage based on the time that I have available. YouTube is something that I watch either on my computer or tablet and which video I watch will depend on the time that I have available as well as the mood I am in.

Knowing what works for you can open up a lot of different things and for me just having these different tools available means that I can’t say that I have nothing to watch or listen to because each of them gives me enough to keep me happy. If you haven’t tried these give at least one of them a shot and see what you think. You may be surprised at how much you enjoy at least one of these methods especially if you do something with your hands that doesn’t require a lot of thinking. A lot of crafters have found all of these work for them and I am one of those crafters who now enjoys listening to things while I craft.